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Award for Skelmersdale cycleway scheme

Tawd Valley cycleway in Skelmersdale

A ground-breaking cycleway linking the shopping centre at Skelmersdale to residential areas and West Lancs College has won a regional award.

Tawd Valley Park Cycleway won a Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport North West award for environment and sustainability.

Lancashire County Council invested £500,000 in the 1.5km pathway, which was installed in 2020.

Its 3m-wide surface is made of a hi-tech recycled rubber-based material, including recycled tyres, which helps to make the surface safer and protect the environment.

County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “This award is great news. We’ve used new, more environmentally friendly, techniques to build the cycleway. Unlike traditional pathways the material is porous so the ground beneath it can absorb water, preventing flooding and ensuring tree roots get enough water.

“The surface also prevents puddles and ice from forming making it much safer in the winter.

“The surface is now much easier to use for cyclists, runners, people on mobility scooters, wheelchair users and pedestrians.

“We are improving our paths and cycleways all the time as part of plans to encourage more people to walk, run, and cycle, and cut down on car usage.

“Schemes like this encourage walking, cycling, and other types of active travel, which improve people’s mental and physical health.

“We’ve recently completed resurfacing of some parts of the major cycle route through Curden Valley in Chorley and we are improving parts of the East Lancs Cycleway Network, with some sections using the same materials as the Tawd Valley Park scheme.”

County Councillor Rob Bailey, lead member for highways and active travel, said “Lancashire County Council is committed to enhancing the opportunities for both cycle use and walking.

“I’ve taken part in Tawd Vale Parkrun and this surface is a joy to run on.

“We won’t be resting on our laurels – expect further enhancements across the county.”

Councillor Jenny Wilkie, portfolio holder for street scene and green initiatives at West Lancs Borough Council, said: “As a council, we are always looking for ways to be more sustainable, and I’m delighted to hear the cycle track has won this award. It’s incredibly important to make cycling an attractive alternative to the car and schemes such as this can lead the way in helping people make that transition to more sustainable ways of travel.

“We applaud the innovation that has led to this greener and more environmentally friendly approach to projects like this.”

For more information about how the county council is encouraging people to walk or cycle instead of traveling by car or other vehicles, visit our active travel webpage.

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